tv The War Room Current February 11, 2013 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
from the same clots. it's enraging, fascinating and really fun. i hope to continue to bring out all those emotions on this show. with that, welcome inside the war room. [ ♪ theme ♪ ] >> it shocked the world. i don't think i'm exaggerating when i say that pope benedict shocked the world announcing his resign that is. the last was pope gregory the 12th before the cubs won their last world series. he said he no longer that the mental and physical strength to carry out his responsibilities approximately many believe there is more to the story. this pope has been incredibly
difficult vicive, many say complicit in covering up the church's sexual abuse scandal. he opposed homosexuality doesn't believe women should ever become priests and is against modern medicine, including stem cell research. many moidores were angered when the vatican attacked american nuns. >> john fugelsang host of viewpoint's father was a franciscan monk before marrying a nun. >> the pope has been a part of your life i'm guessing since you
were a small boy. you had to be surprised today. >> i was completely shocked. i was up very early doing an appearance on bill press's show here and his producer told me about it. i never would have seen this coming. he has been pope for a long time. many consider him to have been the pope the last several years of pope john paul's papacy. the poor man was so wracked with illness and kept on coming out in an ever more frail state. he hasn't canceled any engagements. we're hearing rumors that he decided no more transatlantaic travel after trips to south america. the word we're hearing is fatigue. we're going to hear conspiracy theories ranging from everything to the vatican bank to the
horrible sexual scandals. pope gregory in the 1400s was forced out. it wasn't volunteer. it was like a much more pleasant version of what happened to an curry. the last time this happened was back in the 1200s so almost 700 years since this has been done voluntarily. it's really, really a shock. this had guy has always been renowned for his command of power within the vatican walls. >> listening to everything you're saying and the history there, there's got to be more behind this. it's just not a job people and you can away from, and as history has shown us, i know there are conspiracies and all. what do you think is the reason he is leaving now? >> i wouldn't want to speculate. we'll hear a lot more in the weeks to come. i would advice everyone to google the story about the vatican's butler who lived with
his wife inside the walls. he went to jail for leaking the pope's emails last year. many tell the he was a fall guy the pontiff visited him in prison. he's been invited to come back and live in the vatican once his term has ended raising eyebrows as to what that is about. i do want toage the good positive progressive things this pope oh has done. we're going to be talking about his deplorable record on women gay folks, this pope is the most famous live to have been against the iraq war from the beginning a leading voice to embrace climate change science. there is not a more famous death penalty advocate in the world. he says every nation on earth has an obligation to provide health care to its poorest residents. he's been left of our left and right of our right making him a confounding figure. >> that's not breaking with the catholic church.
they are against the death penalty. he is still the pope. >> absolutely. >> he hasn't set himself apart. do you see this church, the catholic population in this country shrinking, do you see this, you know, this group of i guess what's it called, the synod coming together and picking a more progressive pope or do you think they're like the republican party stuck in the past? >> i'd like to see them give it to sister campbell. i don't see it happening. many say the church is on a slope to being a third world religion and it's looking to many like the next pontiff will come from latin america or africa. i'd like to see a progressive american become pope and usher this church into the 20th 20th century or maybe the 18th or 19th centuries. if you travel this country and visit churches, as i do, you'll see older congregations and a priest who is not from america
more often than not. something that to be done if they want to save this church. i could talk all night about the fact that the c. >> jennifer:celibacy rule is antiquated. it's the man made hang ups of an unauthorized fan club getting in the way of a lot of people. the facebook one religious group in our people are people raised religious and feel spiritual but let down by american religion. >> 24% identify with religion today that they were raised in. i want to ask you about money and the church. i'm going to get skeptical on you.
how big a driving force is the ability for a european pope or to a degree an american pope to raise money for the church, where they would avoid latin america, avoid africa, where the fundraising would be a lot more challenging. >> i agree. if you travel the country i went to college at n.y.u. and at the catholic center gay couples were openly welcome. they send the liberal priests to the liberal areas and conservative priests to the conservative areas. a big part of the priest is to get people to open their pocketbooks and put money in the baskets. it is the business sense that has caused it to marginalize itself. i think if they could open themselves up to a whole new array of parishioners that want to give money to the church, getting baaing to the message of jesus and get over the hang ups
about the dirty parts. >> i don't see that happening anymore than you having a pocketbook john. i'm sure you'll have more on viewpoint tonight. thanks so much, john. >> thank you epic politics man great to see you there. >> all right. coming up here on the war room, the state of the union the sport, the spectacle and the policy and performance. michael tomasky of newsweek daily beast will give us a taste of what we can expect from tomorrow night's big speech. >> we can be fairly certain that guns will be part of the conversation. we're going to introduce you to the congressman trying to make sure that that's the case regardless of what the president says. >> later texas representative steve stockman is doing his part to reestablish credibility in the republican party. by doing his part, i mean doing something crazy. just ahead, in the war room.
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>> tomorrow, president obama will deliver his state of the union address where he's expected to layout an ambitious second term agenda. we might get an indication of whether or not he can pass that when the senate votes tomorrow on his defense secretary nominee, chuck headachele, the first nomination fight of the president's second term. while he's one of them, he sided with the democrats on the iraq war, leading to a major falling out with his one time friend, senator john mccain. >> for then senator hagel to see he'll let history be the judge he was there and involved. he knows he's wrong on the basis of what happens. >> you saw the hearing know his record, are you going to support him for defense secretary? >> i will see the rest of the
answers to his questions, but certainly i have very grave concerns. >> it's not just john mccain, senator lindsey graham probably won't vote for him. she tried to link him to the attacks on oh the u.s. personnel in benghazi, now threatening to hold up the confirmation unless the administration answers more questions on that attack. >> no confirmation without information. this is complete system failure and i'm going to get to the bottom of it. >> now that might have been the craziest turn in the story but former vice president dick cheney criticized the president's choice of foreign policy leaders. he told a group of wyoming republicans: >> cheney should know from sect rate people, because dick cheney is now criticizing someone else's foreign policy team. i give you the least self aware political figure in modern
history. while reports last week that he might withdraw his nomination, his brother said today: >> joining me now is another man who keeps fighting, michael tomasky, coming to us from washington d.c. thanks for being here in the war room. >> my great pleasure. hi. >> hi, by the way, you are now the official answer to who is the first get since the trivia question is going to be asked many times the first guest that i had on the war room. >> fugelsang doesn't count huh? >> he doesn't count he's in the family. he doesn't count unfortunately. don't tell him that. >> all right. >> michael, let's get to the business of business here. today, jim. >> jennifer: nhoff is going to hold the nomination.
>> whether or not he'll follow through on that, i'm not sure. he has the power to do it. chuck hagel is in a precarious position. he did a bad job in that confirmation hearing. he came unprepared and left a lot of questions in a lot of people's minds. he's sort of open game for the republicans a little bit at this point. whether they really really, really really do this and mount a filibuster, which has never been done, the democrats, you know the people point to john tower back in 1989, but the democrats didn't filibuster john tower, they voted against him and defeated him. whether the republicans in the minority actually filibuster a presidential nomination for defense secretary that would be unprecedented and quite surprising and very controversial. >> i personally don't think it's going to happen. his performance was not good, but i don't think it had anything to do with that.
i think there were minds made up before they got there. i think this is what, you know, is part of republican dog in a now. i think it's really the big problem that they have is that their minds are made up before they get there. they think they're going to vote a certain way and just do it. >> you're right. i was merely making the point that he made the accuse to do it. lindsey graham is up for reelection and afraid of a tea party primary. he's going to be as right wing as he can possibly be from now until then. there is no place on the right for anybody to challenge him. mccain has other concerns, maybe still mad that he lost in 2008, he was very close a hagel at one point, they had a fall out over these questions. there are all these other motivations going on, it's true. >> what i found so interesting in this whole conversation about
the president's appointees is, you know, john kerry gets a free ride, seems like brennan is going to get through. when it comes to the republican that was put up there, that's the one the republicans go after the hardest. it used to be you were giving an olive branch by even naming a republican. i can think of cohen ray lahood. is this so unusual? >> it's really mind boggling to me. it's very surprising. not only is the fact that hagel is a republican, but the fact that, you know, if they're upset about benghazi and the question of diplomatic security, wasn't the person to block the secretary of state because it's the state department that actually has jurisdiction over that question? so why didn't they mess with john kerry who to ability was a democratic? you know, i don't know. i don't understand it, there's personal stuff going on here. >> that's true. i mean, we're seeing that.
we're seeing this dirty laundry being aired right in front of us. they know how to go after john kerry. they proved that. they could have done so if they wanted to. i'm going to put you on the spot chuck hagel confirmed or not confirmed? >> i think confirmed. still, i don't think they'll filibuster him at the end of the day, i think fairly narrowly confirmed, but i don't think it matters whether you're rowley confirmed for 99-nothing. clarence tames was confirmed. his opinions still matter as if he'd been confirmed 99-0. >> that's true, i don't think anybody remembers those votes. lets shift gears alleges built. i want to get out of you what you think we're going to hear from the president tomorrow. he's giving this big speech. how different do you think it's going to be prom the inaugural speech, how much will he get into details? the other question similar to
that, this executive action he wants to take, do you think he's going to speak about that, that's going to be a big part of what he says tomorrow to the congress? >> i don't think that will be a big part. he'll mention that and gesture toward that. i think if he ex-if a sizes executive orders too much, he'll get congress's back up more than it's already up. he'll mention that to make democrats happy but not so much that it will make republicans too, too upset. now, as for the bigger picture it will be very different from the inaugural address. i think, you know, a lot of journalists always complain that state of the union addresses are too wonky too long, too detailed. the fact of the matter is, americans watch them. bill clip to know go ahead go on for an hour and a half. journalists would say people must have been flipping the channels like crazy. no, people watched. this is an important moment for obama. he's got a lot on his plate.
there's gun control. he has to make a very important case for his gun control proposals. immigration is in trouble, i believe in this town. he's got to make a very forceful case for immigration. he's got to most of all perhaps make a very strong occasion for his position on the upcoming sequestration site and budget cuts. the republicans are positioning so that they're going to try to blame obama if sequestration takes effect and those cuts take effect and obama's going to have to say no, here's my position and here's why you, american voters, should support it. he's got to talk about jobs and the middle class and growth for the american country. there's a lot. >> he does have a big list. thanks for going through that with us. when we see the president tomorrow we're going to see all of what you just mentioned.
i think the things that are sexiest to america right now are guns and sequestration. the guns are sexiest to washington. we really appreciate your in sights, again. michael tomasky newsweek and the daily beast. >> up next, a group of democratic congressman will bring victims of gun violence to the state of the union address. we'll speak with the representative who put that idea in motion, right after the break. annual state of the union address. he'll address gun control, immigration reform, and the economy. we however, promise to bring you a current perspective. only on current tv.
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children go to school. >> and that problem is, of course, gun violence. the voice in that new ad is gun violence survivor former congresswoman gabrielle giffords of arizona. it was put out by american for responsible solutions founded by giffords and her husband mark kelly. it will run in d.c., san francisco, cincinnati, louisville and las vegas which just happen to be the cities represented by congressional leaders nancy pelosi, john boehner. perhaps the most visible symbol of the damage caused by firearms is jim langevin. he had a gun accident as a police station where he was serving as a junior cadet. he's urged his colleagues on capitol hill to invite victims
of gun violence to be their guests at the state of the union tomorrow. thirty democrats are planning to do so, with over 190 shooting on an average day in america, they should have no problem finding people who's lives have been scarred by guns. joining me tonight, it is my pressure to welcome from washington, d.c. jim langevin. welcome to the war room, thank you for being with us, head of this speech and head of your big idea. >> good evening. thanks for having me on the program. >> of course. tell me, what do you hope to achieve by bringing victims of gun violence to the state of the union? >> well, we're all touched and our hearts broken when we heard the news of what transpired in newtown connecticut. no one wants to see that happen again. we need to keep the focus on
meaningful gun control to the congress. i really applaud president obama for taking on this issue so early on in his new administration. he spoke about it, alluded to it in his inaugural address traveled the country talking about the need for gun safety legislation to be passed. i want president obama to know along with the american people that we are united in this effort to try to make sure that members of congress hear us loud and clear that we want meaningful gun legislation passed through the congress that is going to require universal background checks, that is going to work hard to make sure we eliminate assault weapons and high capacity magazines that could carry 30 or 100 rounds of ammunition. these are weapon was war that had no business being on our streets anymore than an army tank does and clearly they're designed only to kill large numbers of people very quickly. unless we keep the pressure on members of the house and senate, i'm afraid this issue would fade
away and we're not going to allow that to happen. i'm determined to make a difference on this issue. >> all right you are making a difference, and we know that. i want to know the differences with which you hope to hear and i think you just shared that with us, but what do you expect from the president tomorrow? his voice has been consistent to that of the vice president but what do you think we'll hear in fronts of the congress and america tomorrow night? >> i think the presidents is going to reach out and speak directly to the american people about why we need to tanned united and see meaningful begun legislation making its way through the congress as i stated. he's going to i believe remind people about the tragedies that we have faced over the last several years these mass shootings that seem to keep taking place because weapons get in the wrong hands. the time to act is now. it's really long since time to act, that congress passed. we need to act now to make sure
we're taking tougher measures, putting them in place to make sure guns aren't getting in the hands of criminals or those who would have a mental health issue that would preclude them from owning a weapon because they'd be a danger to themselves or others. we have to act or these things are going to keep happening. we can't allow another sandy hook to happen anywhere else in the country. >> congressman, i couldn't agree with you more, but you know the reality of the building in which you work. you look around and see the people on the other side of that aisle. what are the chances of anything passing now? >> it won't be easy, it's a challenge. i believe if we speak oh to the american people that we can see this happen. >> do you think that the president, you know, coming to the congress tomorrow talking about these issues, it's going to be a house where, you know, one of your colleagues we mentioned at the top of the
show, steve stockman is going to be coming with a rock star, ted nugent. do you see this message getting out in a different way than it did when gabrielle giffords was shot? >> i think it's clear that our hearts were broken with what happened in newtown, as it was when gabby was nearly killed and all those lives lost in arizona. we clearly we have to do something to change course or these things could very well continue to happen. i don't want to have see he that. this isn't a democratic or a republican issue. it should be a bipartisan issue. certainly the american people overwhelmingly favor some type of reform in the way our gun laws written right now. at the very least both the american people, gun owners and non-gun owners, we should have universal background checks. anyone that's purchasing a weapon, there should be a
thorough background check so we know these weapons around going to find their way into the wrong hands. we can make a difference on this if we stand united states, if we're firm in our resolve to make sure we see meaningful reform actually happen. i give the president high marks acknowledge issue. i applaud michael bloomberg for putting his personal prestige and name out there, as well as his resources. the mayors against illegal guns are speaking out the brady campaign and the american people, and including the victims of gun violence who have lost people to gun violence, who we've invited to join us at the state of the union message. we'll all be joining together and speaking with one loud voice that we want to see gun safety legislation enacted. >> i can see your position. congressman, who will be sitting next to you at the state of the union tomorrow? >> my guest is jim tyrell.
he unfortunately sadly lost his sister nine years ago when his sister was killed in the place where she visits that she owns. she was behind the counter the family was out celebrating a family anniversary that evening and they were expecting her to arrive and she never did. she was tragically killed that night. the last nine years jim tyrell has tried to honor his sister's memory, keep her memory alive and he's been very active in promoting efforts to eliminate gun violence. he's worked with the practice of non-violence an organization that tries to intervene and diffuse violence in gang issues and work with local law enforcement. he's an incredible guy. i'm proud to have him as my guest. >> i applaud what you're doing. it's impactful when you see
victims of gun violence, as yourself up there talking about it and showing america the problems that we have in this country with guns. congressman jim langevin. you're watching the war room. it's only here on current tv. thinking. >>ok, so there's wiggle room in the ten commandments, that's (vo) she's joy behar. >>current will let me say anything.
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national click social justice lobby, also a member of the original nuns on the bus tour last summer. welcome sister mary ellen, how are you? >> thanks, very well. >> good. i want to talk to you about the state of the catholic church here in america. it's shrinking as you know, but it's also growing in other places, growing in latin america, in africa. in 1978, this were 55 million catholics in africa, now more than 150 million. what are the chances that the cardinals are going to pick a pope from africa? >> it's exciting to think about i think. i've heard names touted throughout the day from nigeria and other places. i think that's a possibility. what are the chances?
i don't know. i would hope that in choosing the next pope, they would be more interested not so much in his country of birth but origin of heart and reach out to the countries dwindling and bring them back. >> a lot of talk is about what the next pope will be like, whether he'll steer the church in a more progressive way. how much autonomy does a pope really have? once a pope is named by the cardinals and becomes the pope, how much of the changes that he wants to implement is he able to just by virtue of the fact that he's pope? >> well, i guess he has considerable influence over the bishops that are under him and the cardinals but i think the reality is that any real change that's going to happen, he's going to have to get consensus and people have to buy into your projects that you want to push
forward, so i think in that sense, he has as much autonomy as he has ability to dialogue with his people and get them onboard with his agenda. >> and do you see any hint, i'm going to oh ask you why you think pope benedict xvi is resigning. do you see any insistence on the rank and file catholic population to move in that progressive direction? >> well, being a lobbyist for the social justice lobby certainly the people i hang around with are more liberal and progressive and people i know would like to see us explore more creative means to enliven our social traditions. our catholic social justice conditions are hard in stone and very traditional. we need to liven them more and really exercise new type was measures that will bring social
justice and economic equity throughout our world. >> i also your grassroots type of activism within the church, does that have any currency? can you influence the cardinals who will all head to the vatican over the next few weeks? >> not that i'm aware of directly, but i think the cardinals, the cardinals who pastor over their flock have a duty to listen to us, and it's important for us to stay in dialogue with our leaders our church leaders. it can't be dig your feet in the ground and i'm not going to meet you, i'm not going to talk about this because then nobody wins. the importance is dialogue. >> yeah, it just seems. >> hopefully they'll take our desires. >> i love hearing you talk about dialogue, but within an institution that seems not to want to have a conversation with anybody except themselves and not want to move forward at all. do you think this next pope is going to be more of the same or
do you think there will be incremental, i know what you're hopeful for but what's the reality within your church? >> the reality is the church changes what, every thousand years? one person is not going to make dramatic changes. it's just an impossibility given the structure and institution of our church. however, every person brings a little newness. the holy spirit gives him certain gifts and a means by which he can bring the church forward and closer to an expression of the values of our lord. this neck pope is going to do that in his way. everyone's going to make a difference. >> sister mary ellen. >> whether it will be a big difference. >> from the outside there are a lot of people who follow organized religion who hope that the words you said are heard by some of those cardinals walking
into that room and sending white smoke up into the air. i really do hope so. thank you for your time and advocacy. we will be back to find out what happens when a republican congressman gets mixed up in the sordid world of rock and roll. >> my take on the pontiff's resignation. don't go away. i think that the audience gets >> i think you'll like it is "the young turks." we're honest. the audience catches that this guy to the best of his ability is trying to look out for us. >> "the young turks" with chenk uygur, next, only on current tv.
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(vo) from the underworld, to the world of privilege. >> everyone in michael jackson's life was out to use him. (vo) no one brings you more documentaries that are real, gripping, current. >> so now, let's go down it is coast and check in on my old stomping grounds by old i mean yesterday, with chenk uygur. cenk. >> how are you doing michael? miss you too brother except we're looking for a new epic politics man. >> don't tell me that. you're crushing me, man you're crushing me. they're very nice to me up here. i'm having a good time. what have you got that i'm not going to be participating in today? >> ok, the pope is stepping out. i'm not necessarily buying the reason for why. oh, i'm aging.
come on. >> it's shocking that you're not buying that. i'm so surprised. wasn't to announce this on national television. i ran a papal pool the last time a pope died and the winner, chenk uygur, is you or was you wasn't it? >> not a big deal. by the way, i'm going to have both sides though. we're going to have somebody saying that he's a great guy another guy saying listen, it's very important that the next pope do better on the sex scandals. we have a rice on the program connie rice, a progressive who actually represent african-american lapd here. the question is is there a point about racism in the lapd. >> as long as it's not jerry rice, i don't care which rice you have on the show. "the young turks," right after
this. >> the state of the union as a speech has changed quite a bit over the years it's become much more of a speech to the american people as opposed to a report to congress. this things have not changed all that much. take a listen to this. >> i can i am part to you that the state of this old but equal union is good. >> i've come to report to you on the state of the union and i'm pleads to report that america is much improved. >> my fellow americans the state of our union is the strongest it has ever been. >> as we gather tonight our nation is at war our economy is in recession, and the civilized world faces unprecedented dangers, yet the state of our union has never been stronger. >> as long as we are joined in common purpose, as long as we maintain our common resolve our journey moves forward and our
future is hopeful and the state of ourin will always be strong. >> wow. it's nice to see all the different ways our presidents can say that the united states of america is great. it has never been stronger. when george bush said that, it reminded me of all those years. we are being graded on a curve. we can expect a similar sentiment tomorrow with president obama delivers the state of the union address. there will be a lot more in there. with me to review is democratic strategist don ohy donnie fowler. >> it's incredible. the old days of the state of our union is strong, gone. everybody has to tweak it just a little bit. so, you know, we're talking about this speech tomorrow, we're, you know, we can guess what's going to be in the
speech. >> jobs. >> you think it's going to be jobs. >> jobs, jobs, jobs. >> you think it's not going to be guns, sequestration you think it's all going to be jobs? >> a good bit of criticism about the inauguration speech in that it didn't cover the middle class, what they're most concerned about not gay rights or climate change or immigration. they're concerned about paying the bills and job security. most americans have a job want a job but there's a sense of insecurity that still lingers out there from the 2007, 2008 recession. >> how much resonance does that have? i remember the president going out making the last speech he remembered. he went out there and he made this speech about jobs. it was just a jobs-based speech, a jobs initiative. yeah, is resonated a little bit. of course, he won, but how much of that is appropriate for this speech when people are looking for these real hot button issues to be talked about.
>> look, jobs can be a hot button issue. a lot depends on what happens tomorrow night is how the president talks about it. if he says jobs bring more infrastructure spending on bridges and roads it becomes a partisan thing. if he says simple thing like more unemployment insurance then it may fall flat. so some degree, jobs has some hot buttons in it. it can be torn apart as a partisan thing. it's not what the pundits say it's what the american people hear. the president does need to speak to what americans are thinking about right now. >> his presidency was about job creation. he talked about it the numbers went incrementally in his favor during the campaign. doesn't he run the risk then of minimizing the gun issue the civil rights issue the immigration?
>> those aren't going to be minimized. they're on the front page every day, because they're the newest, hottest story to talk about. we've had a jobs problem for four or five years now. we can chew gum and walk at the same time, even washington d.c. >> his predecessor couldn't. let's see if he is able to pull that off. one of the interesting facts about what's going to happen tomorrow, we were talk to senator langevin from rhode island earlier some congressman are going to be bringing a guest with them. they're all allowed to bring one guest. a lot of the democrats are bringing gun violence victims but representative steve stockman is going to bring rock star or rock artist. >> was. >> i don't even know what he is, rock, ted nuke gent to the state of the union address. this is what ted new nugent said.
>> if barack obama becomes president, i will be dead or in jail by this time next year. >> he's apparently neither. >> i hope he keeps his promise. should ted newgent having said that be so close to the president? >> they're not going to let him carry a gun into the hauls of congress and shoot the president. the question is a question of judgment. once again the right wing of the republican party which is now most of the republican party has just shown that they're nuts. they're crazy. they have no sense of common decency to do something like this. >> of all the people the congressman could have invited he invites some nut bag just because he thinks that's the cool thing to do. >> it's an infuriating thing to do and not the productive thing
to do. i couldn't agree with you more. let's very quickly there's one story, senator robert menendez, apparently tried to stop the u.s. from lending another port security instrument to the dominican republic because he has a big donor and friend in that business and it wouldn't be good for his business if we lent them more port security in. how much trouble is he in? >> i'm shocked to see so much meddling. >> he says he didn't do it. is he in a lot of trouble? >> they are saying that a politician never gives up power one have to take it away, and so the question for the senator from new jersey is whether the democratic party is going to tell him go away, we've had enough. menendez is never going to come clean unless somebody makes him. >> he's too big a senator with too big a position for him not
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>> given the big news from the vatican today, it would be a sin if we didn't hear from our favorite jewish contributor, the product of seven years of catholic education. here to give us in sight on the past, present and future of the papacy is our own brett erlich. everybody calm down, brett's talking now. >> yes the pope is going to resign leaving millions to wonder, what are you